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Old 08-04-2010, 09:31 AM #16
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Does your camper have brakes, like boat trailers do? With that weight, this would be a huge issue. I've owned/towed lotsa boats - no idea about campers.
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:49 PM #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koz View Post
If you research on RV sites you find that towing at a vehicles max ratings can be dangerous without safety equipment (WD hitch, sway control, trans cooler etc.). I'm not saying you can't tow up to the OEM rating. I'm saying if you do, you will need safety equipment . If you tow 80% you will be in the safe zone of the rating. There are rules of thumb for the max length of a trailer that can be towed based on the length of the tow vehicle's wheelbase. You NEVER exceed the rated tongue/hitch weight. You need to adjust the weight in the trailer so 10 to 12 percent of the total weight is on the tongue. You need to include the weight of passengers and supplies in the tow vehicle in the total tow rating. You can tow 5K lbs with a vehicle rated to tow 2K lbs. The problems come about when you have to make a emergency maneuver, climb a hill, descend a hill, high winds, etc. Then you start having big problems with the tow vehicle, engine, trans, overheating, brakes, suspension, etc.

There is a big difference between towing a boat and a travel trailer (aerodynamics). Also, 4K lbs is exactly 80% of the vehicleís rating.
There is also a big difference between a short trip to a campsite or a launch ramp and taking a long distance trip across mountain passes.

If you plan on towing, do some research and protect yourself, your family, others on the road, your vehicle and trailer.

No one has done more stupid towing then me, when I was young (young and dumb). Iím embarrassed to even talk about it. All can say is, I thank God no one got hurt! Towing is serious business, do it SAFELY!

Koz
Amen Koz.

As someone who has found himself in some sticky towing situations over the years, I cannot stress strongly enough how important proper equipment is.
One cannot appreciate a weight distributing hitch and dual cam sway control setup until one has towed and enclosed car trailer in 40-50+ mph winds (front/rear and cross winds). Then there are emergency type maneuvers thanks to some other "distracted" or just idiot drivers one shares the road with.

With my loaded car trailer I run around 78-80% of my (7K) towing capacity ('04 V8 4Runner) I also invested in a tongue scale and got an actual tongue weight as opposed to a SWAG of my tongue weight. When I measured the tongue weight the first time I found I was about 180 lbs over the max tongue weight. Rearranging some items in the trailer and moving the car 1 foot towards the rear brought the weight almost 100 lbs under the max tongue weight.

BTW, someone in this thread who was looking for better mirrors for towing might want to check out these mirrors: McKesh Mirrors

I have been using them (along with the optional convex mirrors) on my 4th Gen 4Runner since I started towing with it. Be advised I did have to bend the metal anchor that grabs the bottom of the door to make this work properly.
I also use painter's tape on the anchor and on the door sill to minimize scratching.

The safety of you, your family and others on the road depend on Y-O-U.

Good Luck, Have Fun and Tow Safely.
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:12 PM #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemsonfan15 View Post
Aren't you supposed to turn off overdrive when towing?
Now days, overdrive simply refers to any gear in the transmission that is taller than a 1:1 gear ratio. In a 5 speed transmission like in the 4runner, the 1:1 gear is typically 4th gear, although it can vary depending on what the manufacturer wants for a given vehicle. So like a couple of other people said, just move the gear selector from Drive (which will use all gears, 1-5), down to the 4 selection, which will only use 1-4. That is the effective equivalent of "turning off overdrive." Although honestly, it's probably fine to leave it in Drive while towing, and if you find the engine lugging for some reason and the tranny isn't downshifting on its own, you can downshift it to 4.

In the old days, some cars often had a separate overdrive unit in addition to the normal transmission, but I don't know if any modern vehicles still do that. It's kind of archaic and a bit overly complicated, especially given how many gears automatic transmissions have now days.
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:37 PM #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jreiter View Post
Now days, overdrive simply refers to any gear in the transmission that is taller than a 1:1 gear ratio. In a 5 speed transmission like in the 4runner, the 1:1 gear is typically 4th gear, although it can vary depending on what the manufacturer wants for a given vehicle. So like a couple of other people said, just move the gear selector from Drive (which will use all gears, 1-5), down to the 4 selection, which will only use 1-4. That is the effective equivalent of "turning off overdrive." Although honestly, it's probably fine to leave it in Drive while towing, and if you find the engine lugging for some reason and the tranny isn't downshifting on its own, you can downshift it to 4.

In the old days, some cars often had a separate overdrive unit in addition to the normal transmission, but I don't know if any modern vehicles still do that. It's kind of archaic and a bit overly complicated, especially given how many gears automatic transmissions have now days.

That's what I basically meant. The 3rd gens have a selector that turns overdrive on and off.

Like you said it's probably not necessary every time you tow, but if the transmission has to constantly shift from 5 to 4 then it's probably creating a lot of heat.
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:31 PM #20
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Does the 5th gen have an auxiliary transmission cooler from the factory? I thought I read that somewhere.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:22 PM #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan_S View Post
Does the 5th gen have an auxiliary transmission cooler from the factory? I thought I read that somewhere.
There are oil cooling lines running from the transmission to the radiator, but I don't remember an extra cooler when I had the front fascia off.
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Old 08-05-2010, 12:07 AM #22
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Towed a ~2000 lb boat a few times with no problems. 4WD really helps with slick & steep boat launches!
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Old 08-05-2010, 07:14 AM #23
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That is one fine looking rig - bumper to prop.
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Old 08-06-2010, 03:35 PM #24
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We tow our boat around all summer with no problems. The 4runner tows much better than the Trailblazer it replaces. More HP/TQ would not hurt when towing, but I prefer the fuel economy savings.



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Old 09-12-2010, 04:17 PM #25
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New Trailer

Just picked up this Starcraft 175RK Hybrid trailer Wednesday. Towed home from dealer using factory hitch 120 miles at 60 MPH, averaged 14.0 mpg according to computer. Not bad since I usually average ~20.5 mpg. Trailer weighs 2970 empty, had a full water tank so the actual weight was 3220 lbs. Installed a weight distributing hitch and that changed the 2.5 in sag to only 1 in. Tongue weight is about 460 lb.
Towing experiences with your 5th Generation Towing experiences with your 5th Generation Towing experiences with your 5th Generation Towing experiences with your 5th Generation
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Old 09-12-2010, 05:46 PM #26
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Tbwill, how much did you pay for the camper? Is it new or used?
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:05 PM #27
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Tbwill, how much did you pay for the camper? Is it new or used?
It is a new 2011 Model. I ended up paying 15,795 +DMV & Tax. I used a quote I had from RVDirect.com as a bargaining tool. I ended up paying what it would have cost me to buy it from RVDirect.com and get it to California from their dealership in Iowa. We're looking forward to getting out and using it.

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Old 09-12-2010, 09:05 PM #28
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Quote:
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It is a new 2011 Model. I ended up paying 15,795 +DMV & Tax. I used a quote I had from RVDirect.com as a bargaining tool. I ended up paying what it would have cost me to buy it from RVDirect.com and get it to California from their dealership in Iowa. We're looking forward to getting out and using it.

Tom
It's good to see some people camping on this forum.

Any reason you went with a trailer like that instead of a pop up? I've never liked the campers where you have to climb over the table to get in a bed. Does that model have any slide outs?
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:55 PM #29
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Congratz on the camper tbwill...nice truck too!

Did you get the E range tires when you switched your shoes out?

Thanks, Pat
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:45 PM #30
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Quote:
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It's good to see some people camping on this forum.

Any reason you went with a trailer like that instead of a pop up? I've never liked the campers where you have to climb over the table to get in a bed. Does that model have any slide outs?
No slide-outs on this model. there is another floor plan in this same size that has a regular dinette and a small sofa, but they both fold down into beds suitable only for children. The U-dinette makes a full width bed, so I can sleep 6 full size people if necessary. Most of the time it will be only my wife and I so we can use the back bunk if we don't want to climb over the dinette. There is a 60"x80" bunk at each end that pops out. We looked at pop-ups also, but the full bathroom (toilet, sink, separate shower) and full kitchen (sink, 3 burner gas range, oven, microwave, hood and 5.5 cu ft refrigerator with freezer) proved too tempting
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